The Philadelphia Phillies: End of An Era

The last two sea­sons have been tough in Philadel­phia. After a glo­ri­ous run as one of the best team’s in base­ball, the Phillies crashed back to Earth. Char­lie Manuel, a beloved fig­ure for any­one who’s fol­lowed the Phils, was tossed aside. Roy Hal­la­day, a play­er who more than any­one made Philadel­phia a des­ti­na­tion for free agents, retired after two injury-rid­dled sea­sons. It was a mag­i­cal time and now it is over.

The next phase is a famil­iar one. The Phillies will like­ly be hard to watch for a long time. With com­mit­ments made to an aging core and lit­tle to no tal­ent in the farm sys­tem, the boom has gone bust. For any­one who remem­bers what hap­pened to the team after 1993, we know what hap­pens next. It won’t be pret­ty, but we’ll still be in the stands, bask­ing in the ball­park, thank­ful for the mem­o­ries the Phillies gave us.

No Goal But Mileage

It’s been a while since I called myself a run­ner. After run­ning con­sec­u­tive marathons in ’08 and ’09, I took a long hia­tus. Turns out being awake all hours with a sleep­less infant isn’t con­ducive to dis­tance run­ning. I tried com­ing back in clas­sic couch-to-marathon style last year, only to injure myself about halfway through train­ing. After months of phys­i­cal ther­a­py, I still didn’t feel quite right, but that didn’t stop me from try­ing again this year, only to meet the same end. It’s been frus­trat­ing since I still want to run that Boston qual­i­fi­er I just missed in freez­ing temps in ’08.
A few weeks ago I start­ed run­ning again. Just three miles, five times a week. No goal but mileage. It’s tak­ing me back to a time before I had a Garmin watch, before I micro­man­aged every step I took on a run. I’m just out there in the cool fall air putting one foot in front of the oth­er. I’m feel­ing bet­ter than I have in years. Turns out run­ning with­out a race in sight is help­ing me build the base I need to get back on track.
Well, that’s not entire­ly true. I signed up for a half marathon at the end of March. I couldn’t help myself. I need a rea­son to stay moti­vat­ed dur­ing these long, dark win­ter months run­ning along­side the Coop­er Riv­er. In the mean­time, I’ll be log­ging miles at a snail’s pace until I feel good enough to push toward my real goal of qual­i­fy­ing for Boston.

What’s the Future of Blogging?

Two inter­est­ing things about blog­ging late­ly:

First from Mar­co Arment

Then from Robert Scoble on why he’s using G+ and Face­book for blog­ging.

I tend to agree with the for­mer, but I’d much rather do what Scoble is doing. Why? Because it’s much lighter weight than com­ing here to write AND it doesn’t have the audi­ence built-in that oth­er social net­works do. I see that Share but­ton when I’m in Gmail and think, “That would be so easy!”

What’s keep­ing me from mak­ing the switch? Audi­ence. Sure, I have nev­er been good about writ­ing every day, but Word­Press makes it easy for peo­ple to find stuff I’ve writ­ten about since I start­ed blog­ging. Google+ is get­ting bet­ter at help­ing peo­ple find me in the con­text of oth­er search results, but it’s not quite the same.

But why not LinkedIn? Tum­blr? Medi­um? They’re all inter­est­ing places. I often think I should use LinkedIn as my default social net­work and share out to Twit­ter from it!

Put anoth­er way: why shouldn’t I switch to G+ or Medi­um, you know, beyond own­ing my plat­form?

To me, the long tail ben­e­fits are worth­while. Word­Press is eas­i­ly book­marked and shared. Google+ is a neat lit­tle ecosys­tem, but that’s just it: it wants to be self-con­tained in a dif­fer­ent way that most oth­er net­works.

The Principled Purge

If you haven’t already seen it, Ian Rogers’ blog post on prun­ing Twit­ter is quite good. He fol­lowed me back when I wrote about dig­i­tal music; I don’t write about that any­more, ergo he unfol­lowed me. It makes all the sense in the world. Why is it so hard?

I wrote Unfol­low­ing Is Hard back in 2012. I pared back to 500 peo­ple. It felt like an accom­plish­ment. Could I ever get under 200 like Ian? Doubt­ful. Even if I fol­lowed his lead and turned Twit­ter into real-time RSS, I’d find myself in the same fix. I pulled over 800 blogs into RSS at my peak! I’m a suck­er for infor­ma­tion. I just can’t help it.

Worse, I’m sen­ti­men­tal. There are peo­ple I’ve been fol­low­ing since I joined. We’ve had lots of laughs. They’ve watched my son grow up. How could I leave them now if they’ve not grad­u­at­ed to Face­book friend sta­tus?

That’s what I like most about Ian’s post: clear­ly delin­eat­ed friend pro­files that iden­ti­fy where they should go. His birth­day rule is the best. He trans­formed Face­book into Path. He just unfriend­ed his way to it!

I call it the prin­ci­pled purge. This isn’t just rip it up and start again; these are mal­leable plat­forms and we should evolve as our use cas­es change. And if you get scared you can always cheat with a handy list!

Why I’m Switching to Android

I wrote about renew­ing my iPhone vows about a month ago. I’m chang­ing my mind. Why? A com­bi­na­tion of curios­i­ty and con­ve­nience.

I’m not going to dis­count the num­ber of posts from influ­encers like Matthew Ingram, Guy Kawasa­ki and Robert Scoble, but the tip­ping point was real­ly friends who’ve adopt­ed Android with their lat­est phones. Whether they were entrenched Apple users or smart­phone new­bies, their move to Android was inspir­ing. It made it seem less intim­i­dat­ing to ditch the famil­iar for some­thing a lit­tle more chal­leng­ing. I mean, I haven’t thought seri­ous­ly about a smart­phone pur­chase since I first bought a smart­phone near­ly five years ago. I wasn’t going to make this deci­sion with­out help.

Why now? It’s eas­i­er. Android apps have grown up. Most of my most used apps are avail­able and those that aren’t can be replaced with com­pa­ra­ble apps. More impor­tant­ly, I’ve come to real­ize that my depen­dence on basics like Gmail and cal­en­dar are bet­ter solved with a native plat­form. I’m also unrea­son­ably excit­ed to try some of the UI tweaks, like Ubun­tu-style app launch­ers and the like. Being able to rein­vent the expe­ri­ence is some­thing that will keep me inter­est­ed as well.